Chinese Propaganda Faces Stiff Competition From Celebrities

HONG KONG (AP) — When the propaganda film, "The Founding of an Army," hit theaters in China recently, the reaction wasn't quite what the ruling Communist Party might have hoped for. Instead of inspiring an outpouring of nationalism and self-sacrifice for the state, it was roundly mocked for trying to lure a younger audience by casting teen idols as revolutionary party leaders. Viewers more used to seeing the idols play love interests in light-hearted soap operas responded to the film by projecting "modern-day romantic narratives on the founding fathers of the nation," said Hung Huang, a well-known social commentator based in Beijing.

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